A court has heard that a mother who was driven to despair by her 'angry and violent' 10-year-old son fed him her anti-depressants to 'calm him down', claiming they were vitamins.
The 45-year-old woman, who can not be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to causing cruelty to a child at Bristol Crown Court after her son turned up at school in a confused and agitated state.
Susan Cavender, prosecuting, told the court that the child was 'crimson red and very angry' when he arrived at school. Teachers were quickly alarmed by his slurred speech and complaints of nausea and overheating.
The boy claimed that he was taking a new medication for anger issues, prompting worried staff to contact his psychiatrist and GP, who confirmed that he had not been prescribed any new medicines.
They advised teachers to take the boy to hospital, where tests showed that he had ingested anti-depressant pills. Police officers questioned the boy's mother, who initially said that some of the medication had gone missing before admitting that she had given her son the drugs.
The 10-year-old, who no longer lives with his mother, told investigators that she had told him that the pills were multi-vitamins and would help alleviate his ADHD and anger issues. He said he had taken them for 'about six days'.
The boy's mum was spared jail after Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC agreed that she was a 'loving mother' in spite of her 'grossly irresponsible' behaviour.
Instead, he handed down a six-month suspended sentence with 12 months of supervision, saying that while her offence was serious, 'it had only a very limited effect on him and has caused no long-term problems'.